Harold S. Koplewicz
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Harold Samuel Koplewicz (born January 12, 1953) is a New York City-based psychiatrist. He is the medical director of a medical clinic, president of a foundation he launched in 2009, director in two development-stage pharmaceutical and medical device companies, and editor-in-chief of a journal of psychopharmacology.
Koplewicz completed his Bachelor of Science in Psychology at the University of Maryland, College Park in 1973. He obtained his medical degree from the Bronx's Albert Einstein College of Medicine of Yeshiva University (YU). Graduating in 1978, Koplewicz completed a pediatrics internship at the Einstein-affiliated Bronx Municipal Hospital Center (1978–79), a residency in psychiatry at the New York Hospital-Westchester Division, White Plains, New York (1979-1981), a fellowship in child psychiatry at Columbia Presbyterian Medical Center (1981-1983) and directorship of general residency training in child psychiatry (1985–86); and a NIMH research fellowship at New York State Psychiatric Institute (NYSPI) (1983-1985). He also attended one of the short non-degree programs for health professionals offered at the Harvard School of Public Health Executive and Continuing Professional Education (ECPE). He is Board Certified in Psychiatry (since 1983) and Child and Adolescent Psychiatry.
Following the completion of his medical residencies and fellowship in the 1980s, Koplewicz became the chief of child and adolescent psychiatry at the Long Island Jewish Medical Center, the primary teaching hospital for the medical school of Yeshiva University (YU) from which he had graduated in the Bronx.
In the mid 1990s he joined New York University (NYU) Medical Center where he held a number of positions. In 1997 he helped found and served as the first director of the NYU Child Study Center (CSC), a position he held until he left NYU in October 2009. He received a severance package in excess of $1.2 million.
Nathan Kline Institute for Psychiatric Research and other roles
In May 2006, New York Governor Pataki and his Commissioner of the New York State Office of Mental Health appointed Koplewicz the Executive Director of the Nathan Kline Institute for Psychiatric Research (NKI). NKI is a New York State-funded research institute located in Orangeburg, New York and is known for its psychiatric research, especially in the areas of psychopharmacological treatments for schizophrenia and major mood disorders, and in the application of computer technology to mental health services. His employment at NKI was terminated in January 2011 by State Commissioner of Mental Health Michael F. Hogan.
Koplewicz has served as a member of the National Board of Medical Examiners, a Commissioner on the New York Commission for the Study of Youth Crime and Violence and Reform of the Juvenile Justice System (1994), and has been Editor-in-Chief and contributing author of Mary Ann Liebert's “Journal of Child and Adolescent Psychopharmacology” since 1997.
Koplewicz also holds executive board positions in two pharmaceutical and health technologies companies. In February 2007 he was appointed Chairman of the Board in February 2007 of New York City's Delcath Systems, a development-stage, specialty pharmaceutical and medical device company focused on oncology, where he had served as director since September 2006. In June 2011, he joined the Board of Directors at Biosign Technologies (TSX: BIO), a Canadian medical device company specializing in health monitoring.
Child Mind Institute
After leaving NYU in 2009 Koplewicz started the Child Mind Institute. Two CSC board members left with Koplewicz to serve as co-chairs of his new board of directors. Originally called the Child Study Center Foundation, the new organization had a similar name and mission to the existing NYU CSC institute, changed its name in 2010 to the Child Mind Institute (CMI). Similar to the NYU CSC mission, CMI's stated goal is to help improve the lives of children through integrating evidence-based clinical care, collaborative scientific research, information and resources, and advocacy.
Koplewicz serves as the medical director of the clinic, president of the foundation, and practices on a limited basis.
December 2012 lawsuit against Koplewicz and CMI
On December 7, 2012, a lawsuit was filed in Manhattan Superior Court by Lisa Hernandez Gioia, CMI's former Director of Development, against Koplewicz and CMI.
ADHD treatment dispute
Koplewicz is perhaps best known for his public advocacy of increased usage of psychotropic medications for children diagnosed with Attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD). Responding to concerns about over-medication and the commercialization of psychotropic medicines, Koplewicz has argued that "no studies have examined the effect of long-term use" of ADHD meds, but they "have been in use for 70 years, and there is no evidence that suggests any adverse effects."
Paxil Study 329 Controversy
In 2001 Koplewicz co-authored Study 329, a drug trial sponsored by GlaxoSmithKline (GSK), that looked at the safety of the use of psychotropic antidepressant drug Paxil (Paroxetine) and concluded that Paxil "is generally well-tolerated and effective for major depression in adolescents" (p. 762). The report and conclusions were then used by GSK to market the drug to children. In October 2011 the company was sued by the United States Department of Justice (DOJ) for false claims and for a fraudulent scheme to deceive and defraud, and charged that the company for touted the Study 329 and journal article "that it paid to have drafted and that exaggerated Paxil's efficacy while downplaying risks identified in one of the trials." In the summer of 2012 GSK settled the lawsuit with the DOJ for a record $3 billion (and more recently the State of North Carolina for $32 million).
Publications and awards
Koplewicz has edited or authored more than 65 peer-reviewed articles and chapters on child and adolescent psychiatry. He is also the editor or author of several books, including the textbook Depression in Children and Adolescents (Hardwood, 1993); It's Nobody's Fault: New Hope and Help for Difficult Children and their Parents (Times Books/Random House, 1996); Childhood Revealed: Art Expressing Pain, Discovery & Hope (Harry Abrams, Inc., 1999); Turbulent Times, Prophetic Dreams: Art of Palestinian and Israeli Children (2000); More Than Moody: Recognizing and Treating Adolescent Depression (Putnam, 2002); and The Day Our World Changed: Children's Art of 9/11 (Harry Abrams, Inc., 2002).
He has received a number of industry awards, including the 1997 Exemplary Psychiatrist Award from the National Alliance for the Mentally Ill, the 1998 Reiger Service Award from the American Academy of Child and Adolescent Psychiatry in recognition of his work in the development of school-based mental health programs, the 1999 Humanitarian Award from Marymount Manhattan College, the 2000 American Grand Hope Award from the Aprica Childcare Institute, the 2002 Catcher in the Rye Award from the American Academy of Child and Adolescent Psychiatry, the 2007 Irving Philips Award for Prevention, the 2009 American Psychiatric Association McAlpin Award for lifetime contributions to child psychiatry, and the 2010 American Society for Adolescent Psychiatry William Schonfeld Award.
Koplewicz has been included as one of the top 53,000 doctors in the United States in a list compiled by "Best Doctors", a for-profit health benefits company and in a list of Castle Connolly's 1,160 top physicians in New York published by New York Magazine.
- Child and adolescent psychiatry
- Attention deficit hyperactivity disorder controversies
- Biopsychiatry controversy
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